Last year in Abruzzo was a disaster for Olive farmers as there were very few olives worth picking. A very wet summer meant a poor crop which was then attacked by the olive flies. These pesky creatures lay their eggs in the developing buds and the maggots then hatch out in the autumn. Our trees were badly effected and will try to collect and burn all the fallen olives this year -the only problem with this is that the Long Tailed Tits and Nuthatches love to pick the maggots out of them as they lay on the grass.
As well as being an important part of the Italian landscape these old olive groves shelter a wide range of wildlife including Little Owls, Wrynecks, Shrikes, Woodpeckers and many different warblers.
woodcut by Andrew Wddington
Shrike by Andrew Waddington
Redstart by Andrew Waddington